"The Common Thread: Find Yourself in Everyone," is a practical Toolkit for a Healthy Environment, designed to give School of Medicine departments concrete, user-friendly tools for cultivating inclusion, addressing bias, and resolving conflict. Developed through a grant from the Health Servies Foundation, the Toolkit was created by the Office for Common thread icon 2Diversity & Inclusion with help from subject matter experts, and is housed on an independent website here.

All four modules for “The Common Thread” have been released. The four modules are: Building Belonging, Understanding Bias, Cultural Competency, and Conflict Resolution. Each module is deliverable in two different formats: a downloadable PowerPoint presentation and downloadable discussion sheets, and there a series of TEDTalk-style videos showcasing the PowerPoint contents. The videos for these presentations are divided into shorter segments of 7-8 minutes each, and feature Dr. Michael Saag, Dr. James Willig, Dr. Tony Jones, Evelyn Jones, and Laura Heider.

Currently, Dr. Mona Fouad, Evelyn Jones and Laura Heider are visiting each department to present one of the Toolkit modules during Grand Rounds. Several departments have already participated in one module, and several others, are slated to do so. The overarching goals are to begin meaningful dialogue on issues related to diversity and inclusion, and to introduce the functionality of the Toolkit.

"The intention of this project has always been to support and enhance UAB Medicine’s tradition of excellence," says Mona Fouad, M.D., MPH, Senior Associate Dean for Diversity & Inclusion, "UAB is at its best when our many diverse voices are heard."The modules were designed to be practical and user-friendly, and to that end we’ve made every module easy to download and use without any particular expertise required. Our goal is to help every department access each of the modules in the ways that work best for them, in order to facilitate greater inclusivity and understanding.